There are plenty of places to turn if one is looking to buy prescription glasses, but the problem is that most of those options are expensive. So David Gilboa and Neil Blumenthal started Warby Parker last year to breathe some new life into the eyewear industry by selling designer, prescription glasses online — for $95. The New York-based startup has since gone on to raise $13.5 million from a bunch of notable investors, and has been growing fast.
While the startup has been offering both prescription glasses and sunglasses for sale online, they haven’t offered eyewear for the visually-impaired who want to look hipster-cool while braving the sun. Today, Warby Parker has come to their aid, launching a line of prescription sunglasses with a reasonable price tag of $150.
Combining its Rx and sun programs, starting today each of the startup’s current styles will become upgrade-able to prescription, polarized lenses, complete with UVA/UVB protection. And, as a part of the launch, Warby will be offering 16 styles that were previously prescription glasses-only as sunglasses, both prescription and regular-style. On the new landing page, just for good measure we count 27 styles in all, so they all seem to be there.
Part of the Warby Parker’s appeal has also been their “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” program, similar to TOMS Shoes, through which the company donates a pair of glasses for each set its customers purchase. Last year, the startup distributed over 100K pairs of glasses to people in need. And now this is true for prescription shades as well.
While this is terrific, we’d like to see the startup begin offering a line that’s a little more competitive with, say, Google and Oakley’s smart glasses. Looking cool and feeling smart? That’s worth billions. At least. Maybe two.
For more, find Warby Parker’s new prescription sunglasses page here. And check out Chris Dixon’s conversation with the founders here.
Big news! Rx sunglasses are now available to order on our website! warby.me/IbMqjG
— Warby Parker (@WarbyParker) April 26, 2012